Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A different world

Assuming that the weather doesn't scuttle my Saturday plans, I intend to head back to my old stomping grounds to take my great aunt to an early dinner before I go to a college basketball game. (I hope that snow and ice don't interfere or else I'm eating the cost of the ticket.)

I was trying to think if there's anything online that I'm involved with that I might want to print off or take to show her. Then I realized how difficult it might be to explain what any of that might be. This is someone who does not have cable television, a DVD player, a computer, or even an answering machine. Her phone line may still be a party line. (If it isn't now, it used to be. She and her neighbors, some of whom were relatives, shared it.) The newest technology in the big farmhouse may be a VCR.

This led to thinking about how foreign my life would be to her. What she knows of today's technology mostly must come from whatever is gleaned from broadcast television, especially now that my parents don't live within an easy drive's distance. How incomprehensible must it all be? I'm not suggesting that she never gets out, although I don't think she goes out much.

I was just struck by the fact that she is, in essence, living in a way that wouldn't be terribly different from forty years ago...or more. What is that like?

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